It’s going to be an endless summer… You and your kiddies are looking at two more months of very little social contact and a lot of indoor time. Luckily, playing video games all day is just as fun as normal outdoor summertime activities. Okay, maybe it isn’t just as fun. But to keep yourself and kiddies safe and sane this summer, you can substitute these classic Commodore Amiga video games for favorite summertime activities, time to share some good old memories with friends or kids using a real Amiga or Amiga emulator for Windows.

It’s not the most pleasant experience in the world to be kidnapped by a bunch of wicked mages and taken away for a life of slavery and misery, serving the evil Beast Lord. Still, that’s happened to you. And to ensure faithfulness to the master, the mages have imposed years of hypnosis and brainwashing. As a reward for all those years of service, they have turned you into a powerful, agile and swift half-human creature with few feelings and little compassion, especially for the humans who must often be herded together for the ritual sacrifices. Until one day there you are, sitting watching the humans being taken to the altar, when suddenly the face of one particular old man stirs some long-suppressed memories. But it’s too late for you to act when it dawns on you that the little old man is in fact your father. Now you’ve turned against you masters and are determined to destroy the Beast Lord himself. The game starts with the player controlling the creature: the idea is to guide him through the 350 screens of (mostly) horizontally-scrolling platform action until the final showdown with the lord.

In Hunter, a small but strategically important group of islands has been invaded by an army of some considerable strength. Your commanders do not want to risk a full-scale military counter-attack just yet as the casualties would be unacceptably high. So they decide that intelligence gathering, sabotage and small attacks are the way to weaken the enemy, enough before attempting further escalation. This is where you come in. You are one of a new breed of soldier, trained in undercover work and all forms of combat. Chosen to undertake the missions deep in the heart of enemy territory, you find yourself working alone behind enemy lines where you have to keep your wits about you to survive, let alone complete your mission and make it back home.

In Speedball, you control a gang of five ‘ballers’, in what is the game of the future. The basic rules are pretty straight forward. The play area is a steel-wall encased arena with a goal at either end. Two teams compete, and the aim is to get the ball into the opponent’s goal more often than the opposing side. The ball is carried, and after that there are no rules as such because once you get the ball you’ve got to try and stop your opponent from robbing you and basically he doesn’t care how he gets it.

You take control of Turrican as he lands on the outer surface of Landorin. Since his last mission he has been streamlining his abilities and improving his armour. He is still armed with the multi-purpose laser cannon, but a host of ‘alternations’ have been made. To begin with, Turrican must move around the planet’s surface destroying any enemies he may come across. Later, secret entrances into further caverns must be found, so that Turrican can make his way deeper into the planet and stamp out the enemy threat, as well as having to find and steal a spaceship to navigate the speed tunnel – a deadly corridor that is packed full with deadly machine guns. As Turrican works his way deeper and deeper into the planet, the machine guards get tougher and meander, throwing all manner of defences at you to try and stop your advance into their newly-claimed territory.

As with Pinball Dreams, the tables scroll vertically depending on the position of the ball – a feature your eyes will probably take a while to get used to. Loads of imagination has gone into designing the game, with each of the four tables based on a single theme: Partyland, featuring ducks, snacks, cyclones and skyrides; Speed Devils, with pit stops, speed bonuses, off-road and speed ramps; Billion Dollar Gameshow, including expensive prizes, super jackpots and cash bonuses; and Stones ‘n’ Bones, featuring bats, devils, mummies, ghosts and the Grim Reaper.

Cannon Fodder blasts off with one of the best game tunes of ’93. As the song plays you are treated to a menagerie of digitised shots of the Sensible Software team dressed up as soldiers. As good a way as any ot get your face in a game I suppose. Once all this tomfoolery has finished it is then time to enter the war zone. Cannon Fodder is the best thing since gun powder. It is bloody brilliant. So, what is it about? Simply put: shooting, shooting, shooting, more shooting and, just for a change, a few explosions. That is it. No fancy storylines. No deep and meaningful scenarios. Just grab a handful of recruits, drop them in a war zone and then blast everything in sight. There are 72 missions to complete, each one has a different terrain and objective.

The Chaos Engine is slightly more than just a mindless “kill everything” game, however: there are some tricky puzzles to solve in parts and the chance to build up both players from the end of world shop. All mercenaries have different attributes and weapons; so by mixing and matching them, you get a bit of a strategic element in the game. Some of the worlds are pretty big, and some have more than one exit, so there’s plenty to explore. Also, the statistics screens which are shown at the end of each world show what percentage of that world you have completed; often, it’s less than you think, so there’s that urge to complete just a little bit more of it – very addictive.

North & South is a 1989 turn-based strategy-sim game about the American Civil War and an offshoot of the Belgian comic Les Tuniques Bleues. Taking up positions, capturing states, assaulting and capturing enemy forts, attacking trains and protecting your railroads… you’ll have to deal with everything! Before you begin a proper game, there are a few options you can alter. You can change the time period, toggle the difficulty levels to give yourself more gold, toggle the presence of a storm cloud that moves around to freeze a unit in place and the presence of both Indians and Mexicans attacking border states. The game also offers a two-player-mode. The player begins the game looking at a map of the United States with a handful of starting territories occupied by the Union and the Confederacy.

ou play the role of an inexperienced lord of a small territory in feudal England. Gameplay centers primarily on the building of armies and the capturing of neighboring territories, but there are also action segments where you participate in jousting tournaments or chuck cannonballs toward rival castles. The year is 1149, and following the untimely death of the monarch, England has been cast into a titanic struggle for kingship. You are one of the six knights vying for the empty throne, using your skills of leadership, jousting and swordplay to gain an advantage over your rivals. You and your loyal army raid castles, conduct sieges, invade territories and hold tournaments in the hope of bringing about the fall of your enemies.

In Delphine’s Flashback you take the role of a young scientist who, by inventing a pair of glasses which can read molecular density, discovers that aliens have infiltrated society. Once the aliens realise this, they kidnap you and drop you on their planet with a blank mind. Flashback is an arcade adventure from the team that brought you Another World, but this is far more basic, going more for the traditional platform adventure. Unfortunately, this means puzzles where you have to find an object and give it to someone else. Yawn. On the upside, loads and loads of action!

news source: various sources / image source: GenerationAmiga

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